To His Holiness Pope Francis – Please speak for Christian mercy toward animals
- The Holy See
This is a respectful appeal to Pope Francis to publicly speak about showing mercy to animals (especially the so-called 'food animals') as a positive moral action which is not in any way contrary to the Magisterium and completely in line with the imperative of Christian love.
The petition invites signatories from the general public, Christians, believers in other religions and non-believers alike.
Since you have made mercy toward human beings the keynote of your pontificate, we would like to respectfully ask you to issue a call for mercy toward the rest of God's creation as well. Unlike Buddhism, Jainism and some branches of Hinduism (not to mention the contemporary secular society), Christianity - praised as the religion of love and life - shows surprisingly little concern for the absolute majority of sentient creatures inhabiting the Earth. Thus " the creation still groans" (Rom. 8:22) and suffers fear, pain and death under the stewardship of mankind.
The Holy Scripture contains several passages that are used in support of either meat-eating or vegetarianism. However, it is quite clear that the Bible does not command - or forbid - any of these two options. Furthermore, the Tradition seems to view meat-eating with a degree of disapproval (for example, the once-general abstention from meat on Fridays, the meatless diet of some religious orders, ascetics and hermits, etc.) Also, a few saints, including your patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi and St. Martin de Porres, have shown great understanding and compassion toward all animals.
The Holy Mother Church teaches that animals have only material, mortal souls. It means that the only thing they possess is life. Should we then unhesitatingly deprive them of this sole God-given possession because we have been granted dominion over them? More than 150 billion animals are slaughtered for food worldwide every year, often under horrible conditions. They include fish (the symbol of Christian community), doves (the representation of the Holy Spirit) and lambs (the symbol of Jesus Christ Himself). Can we really ignore these facts and still talk about Christian love?
We do not ask you, Holy Father, to change the Magisterium in any respect whatsoever, only to issue a public teaching that would encourage a more merciful attitude toward animal life. After all, there is nothing un-Christian in the idea that charity should apply to the whole of Creation.
The To His Holiness Pope Francis – Please speak for Christian mercy toward animals petition to The Holy See was written by Mariusz Wesolowski and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.